July 10, 2013

Writing is tough and tricky. I'm not aware of any commercially or critically successful authors today who simply write a first draft and the agent and publisher accept it as is. The reality is that most writers, myself included, struggle over seemingly countless drafts: editing and rewriting ad nauseam. After this monumental challenge, the story probably still requires additional work from tweaking to major surgery. This is necessary before submitting the novel to an agent or publisher.

This is the domain of the freelance editor. The most challenging issue for the writer is choosing the "right" editor. I won't go into all the do's and don'ts involved in the process along with the myriad scams and pitfalls. There are innumerable blogs and other materials available on the Web - just Google "Freelance Editors". This challenge is compounded by the considerable cost for the services of the editor. Charges are based on the word, the page, or the hour.

Plus, there are different types of editing services from simple grammatical checks to developmental and content editing. Writers who are seeking representation by literary agents or publishers absolutely have to submit first class work; not that that's any guarantee of acceptance. That, of course, makes the (roughly) $5,000 to $15,000 editor's fee even more daunting - after spending the money, there's still no assurance your manuscript will find a representative or publisher.

I've been doing a lot of research on this topic lately. My goal is to vet prospective editors to find one who has a strong and lengthy background in the business, a track record with successful authors, and contacts currently in the industry. Stay tuned; I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'll also try to expand this Website to include information on editors, and later, agents.

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